Your Tummy Tuck Recovery Timeline

If you have stubborn fat deposits that don’t go away with diet and exercise or loose skin in the abdominal area, a tummy tuck may be an option to consider. When clients visit my Las Vegas office to find out more about tummy tucks, they are often looking for a combination of the following:

  • Tightening loose skin and reducing stretch marks after significant weight loss or pregnancy
  • Reducing areas of excess abdominal fat
  • Repairing weak, stretched abdominal muscles after pregnancy
  • Flattening a tummy bulge

When considering a tummy tuck, it’s also important to factor in recovery time. Here’s what you can expect after surgery, including when you can return to work, how long it takes to see results, and post-surgery care.

A trusted adult should pick you up after surgery. Do not drive until you’ve stopped taking all narcotic medications and you’re ready to return to your normal schedule.

Make sure to get out of bed and walk around within these first few days of your surgery–even if you’re unable to stand fully upright. Walking will help you feel better, reduce swelling, lower your chance of blood clots, and tone your muscles. Do not do vigorous exercise.

You may sponge bathe during this time frame. Once your drains are removed (usually within 1-2 weeks), you may shower. Take care not to submerge your incisions. Avoid tubs and pools.

If surface stitches are required (very rarely), they will be removed in 5 to 7 days.

Surgical drains are removed when the drain output subsides, usually in this time frame.

Belly button sutures are removed. Depending on your occupation, you should be able to return to work within 2 weeks; however, some patients need 3 to 4 weeks to recuperate.

Your scarring may look worse during this time. Don’t worry–this is normal. It will take 9 months – 2 years for the scars to flatten out and lighten. I take care to keep the scar as low as possible. Most patients tell me that the confidence they gain from the surgery is worth the scars.

Things to Avoid During Recovery

Avoid strenuous activities such as bending, jogging, and playing sports for 6 weeks.
Do not lift anything greater than 10 pounds for 6 weeks to prevent separation of the muscle-tightening sutures.
Do not drink alcohol as it can cause you to retain fluid and delay your recovery.

It is not uncommon to combine tummy tuck surgery with liposuction. This addition can help you achieve your desired results.  I’m available to answer more questions about any part of the tummy tuck process. If you want to know more, schedule a complimentary consultation.

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